Theme 2 researchers develop an improved energy projection module for government

06 Oct 2017

Theme 2 researchers working on the environmental impact of energy systems, based at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR), have led the development of an improved industrial module of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Energy Demand Model.


An important component in UK energy policy-making, this model is used to produce the Energy and Emissions Projections, an annual report which analyses and projects future UK energy use and greenhouse gas emissions up to 2035.


These projections are used by the UK government to monitor progress towards meeting the carbon budgets mandated by the Climate Change Act, informing energy policy and associated analytical work across departments. The Energy and Emissions Projections take into account the impact of existing climate change policies and of planned policies where design is sufficiently advanced. The Energy Demand Model (including the module developed by UCL ISR) is also used to fulfil international reporting obligations, including those to the EU and UNFCCC, and to answer other internal or parliamentary queries. From an UKERC perspective, the Energy and Emissions Projections are useful to inform our work on the possible environmental impacts of existing patterns of energy consumption and production.


In autumn 2016, BEIS procured a project from UCL to improve the model’s industry module, where accuracy had fallen in recent years. The UCL team partially funded by UKERC (Dr Paolo Agnolucci, Dr Vincenzo De Lipsis and Theodoros Arvanitopoulos) developed new approaches for projecting GVA, energy consumption and fuel consumption (coal, electricity, gas and oil) for each of the 10 industrial subsectors included in the model. The work produced a new module that improves both on the theoretical underpinnings and the statistical validity, therefore increasing the confidence in its projections.


The contribution from the team is acknowledged in the 2016 edition of the Energy and Emissions Projections (published March 2017). You can read the full BEIS report here and the open access academic paper here.